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Top UK locations to celebrate summer solstice 2024

Can you feel the change in the air? The days are getting longer, while nights are getting shorter, which means that the summer solstice of 2024, the longest day of the year, is approaching. This mystical and scientific event has been celebrated since Neolithic times, which was about 12,000 years ago! Every year, people in the UK enjoy this long sunny day by sharing stories, honouring age-old traditions and, of course, indulging in delicious food! The day is filled with fun events across the nation, from sunrise to sunset. This year, this special day will fall on the 21st of June. There are several beautiful and meaningful locations in the UK where you can celebrate it. Let’s explore some of the top UK destinations for celebrating summer solstice 2024. 

What is the summer solstice?

The summer solstice, sometimes called midsummer, is not just the longest day of the year, but it also marks the end of spring and the beginning of summer. This unique day when the Earth's hemisphere is closest to the sun has been celebrated since ancient times. Out of all the 365 days of the year, it is the only one day when you get to experience the most hours of daylight and the least hours of nighttime. It is a perfect day to go out and celebrate with your loved ones. 

Amazing places in the UK to enjoy the summer solstice 2024

Our ancestors used the Sun and the Moon to tell the time and mark the calendars. They built various structures to track the sun’s progress around the world, including the UK. These locations are now a big part of summer solstice celebrations. Let’s look at some of these amazing places in the UK where you can enjoy the summer solstice 2024:

Stonehenge, Wiltshire 

Stonehenge in Wiltshire is Britain’s most renowned and easily recognisable location. It is a circle made up of giant stones and is one of the best places to celebrate the summer solstice 2024. The monument was built thousands of years ago, and people from the UK and travellers from around the world gather here to witness the sunrise behind the Heel Stone. When the sun rises, you can actually see the rays of sunlight shine directly through the centre of the monument. It is a truly magical experience. 

Glastonbury Tor, Somerset 

This is a historic hill with a 15th-century tower on top. It is the second most popular location for tourists on the summer solstice because of the spectacular view. You can see as far as the Black Mountains of Wales on a clear day from the top of the hill. Just like Stonehenge, Glastonbury Tor has a rich history related to the summer solstice, with many people believing that it even has some special powers. Make sure you climb the Tor on the summer solstice to witness the sunrise and take in the panoramic view. 

Bryn Celli Ddu, Wales 

Bryn Celli Ddu in Wales is an ancient tomb clouded in mystery and myths. Located in Wales, it was built around 5000 years ago during the Neolithic period. Initially, it was used as a ritual enclosure and was later turned into a passage tomb, which is a type of burial site found in many places, including Ireland and Brittany, France. It is connected to the summer solstice because of a magical event that only happens that morning. On summer solstice 2024, just like every year, you can see the rising sunlight illuminating the tomb, creating a beautiful sight for all to see. It is believed that the rays of the sun were meant to bring warmth and life to the ancestors buried there.  

Castlerigg Stone Circle, Cumbria 

Although not as famous as Stonehenge in Wiltshire or Glastonbury Tor in Somerset, Castlerigg Stone Circle is a fascinating site located about a mile and a half outside Keswick. It consists of 38 stones, and it is believed to hold some ceremonial significance, though the origins of the stones are unknown. The plus point of visiting Stone Circle on the summer solstice is that you can enjoy sunrise and spend the whole day exploring the beautiful Lake District Fells surrounding Castlerigg Stone Circle. It's a great way to spend summer solstice 2024! 

What to do at a summer solstice celebration?

Now that you’ve explored some of the best places to celebrate summer solstice 2024, let’s look at some of the ways to celebrate it: 

  • Wake up early to watch the sunrise: Waking to see the first light of the day is a special, long-standing summer solstice tradition. You can bring a blanket or even foldable chairs to sit on and stay warm during the early hours when visiting these sites.  
  • Have a picnic with your loved ones: Don’t forget to pack some delicious food and drinks you can enjoy outdoors. Some sandwiches, fruit, and snacks are a few good options for a delightful summer picnic. 
  • Celebrate with music: Like many celebrations worldwide, summer solstice 2024 would be incomplete without some harmonious and lively music. Enjoy live music or performances to enhance the happy atmosphere and make the most of your summer solstice celebration! 
  • Dress Appropriately: Even though it’s a summer celebration, the British weather is unpredictable, and mornings can be a little chilly. So, dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes. Bring a jacket or sweater to keep the cold at bay. 
  • Don’t forget to pack sunscreen: On summer solstice, it can get really warm as the day progresses and the heat can be more difficult to handle later in the day. So, pack sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun. 

The summer solstice is a joyous day, with people across the nation coming together in this divine celebration. It's a vibrant and sunny time to enjoy the outdoors with your friends and family. So, if you're in the UK, pick a fantastic location to celebrate summer solstice 2024, join in the festivities and create lasting memories! 

Frequently asked questions about top UK locations to celebrate Summer Solstice 2024

Q1. Why do people celebrate the summer solstice?

A1. People around the world have been celebrating the summer solstice for thousands of years, since Neolithic times. It's a special day when you get to welcome the warm summer weather and longer sunny days.

Q2. How can I celebrate summer solstice in the UK?

A2. There are many ways to celebrate summer solstice in the UK. You can watch the sunrise at some historic places associated with the day, have picnics or bonfires with your loved ones, listen to music, or, if you want, go dancing with your friends while dressed up in fun costumes.

Q3. When is the summer solstice 2024?

A3. The summer solstice 2024 will be on Thursday, 20th June, but the exact time of the sunrise, the ‘it’ moment, will be a little different depending on where you are. 

Q4. Does the summer solstice happen on the same day every year?

A4. Not exactly. The date of the summer solstice can change by a day or two because of how our calendar works. But generally, it falls somewhere between the 20th and 24th of June.

Q5. What are the most famous places in the UK to celebrate summer solstice 2024?

A5. Some of the most well-known places in the UK to celebrate the summer solstice 2024 are Stonehenge, Glastonbury Tor, Durdle Door, Ben Nevis, Avebury Henge, and many more.